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We should eliminate voting machine: Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk posts on X, triggers debate with former Modi-led government's minister
Elon Musk
Photo Courtesy: PIB

We should eliminate voting machine: Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk posts on X, triggers debate with former Modi-led government's minister

| @indiablooms | 16 Jun 2024, 02:05 pm

Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has triggered a debate by saying that the world should eliminate the use of electronic voting machines since they are vulnerable to hacking.

"We should eliminate electronic voting machines. The risk of being hacked by humans or AI, while small, is still too high," he posted on X.

He shared his opinion while referring to an X post by Robert F Kennedy Jr, nephew of former US President John F Kennedy and an independent hopeful for the 2024 US Elections, who said Puerto Rico’s primary elections just experienced hundreds of voting irregularities related to electronic voting machines.

"Puerto Rico’s primary elections just experienced hundreds of voting irregularities related to electronic voting machines, according to the Associated Press.Luckily, there was a paper trail so the problem was identified and vote tallies corrected," he wrote on X.

"US citizens need to know that every one of their votes were counted, and that their elections cannot be hacked. We need to return to paper ballots to avoid electronic interference with elections. My administration will require paper ballots and we will guarantee honest and fair elections," he said.

In India, third-generation EVMs are used.

Former Indian Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar was quick in countering Musk and said he made a 'huge sweeping generalization statement'.

" This is a huge sweeping generalization statement that implies no one can build secure digital hardware. Wrong," Chandrasekhar posted on X.

"@elonmusk 's view may apply to US n other places - where they use regular compute platforms to build Internet connected Voting machines," he said.

"But Indian EVMs are custom designed, secure and isolated from any network or media - No connectivity, no bluetooth, wifi, Internet. ie there is no way in. Factory programmed controllers that cannot be reprogrammed," he said.

"Electronic voting machines can be architected and built right as India has done. We wud be happy to run a tutorial Elon," Chandrasekhar said, 

Musk made the comment at a time when India had just concluded its seven-phased general polls which was won by Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA alliance, marking the third straight term return of Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister of the world's largest democracy.

Indian politician Rahul Gandhi later joined the debate and posted on X: "EVMs in India are a "black box," and nobody is allowed to scrutinize them. Serious concerns are being raised about transparency in our electoral process.Democracy ends up becoming a sham and prone to fraud when institutions lack accountability."

 

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